InterviewMay 9th, 2023

CXAUTO2023 Speaker Spotlight: Lee Ann Gehrs


I’ve been with Holman for 17 years now, and it is the organization with which I’ve spent the vast majority of my career. The leadership and employees at Holman were incredibly welcoming, and the company culture immediately resonated with me. I started off in sales and sales leadership before transitioning into operations and then employee engagement, which was an incredibly rewarding experience. After that, I served in a number of customer service leadership roles within our B2B segment of the organization. 

In 2018, I was promoted to our retail automotive division and was tasked with centralizing our BDC, which we call the Customer Engagement Center for Holman. I've been in this area ever since and love every minute of it. The pace, the people, and the ability to be genuine and get things done in the automotive industry are invigorating to me.

“You're not one or the other. You're everything."

My experience in sales, employee engagement, and operations has positioned me well for what I do today, focusing on the experiences of our customers and employees. I believe this diverse background has prepared me to understand and connect with various aspects of the automotive industry.

What sets Holman apart is the values at the top that perpetuate through every person in the entire organization. Our values are about setting people up for success and driving what’s right for our people, our customers, and our communities. We are literally built on the golden rule. We care about one another and see each other as whole individuals, not just defined by our roles. This supportive environment is what makes our company culture special and allows us to grow and thrive in the industry.

"What has always been on my radar since I became a leader early on, is people, people making things better, and making business better.”

My focus has always been on people and how they can improve both the workplace and the business. After joining the automotive industry, the importance of agility and adaptability quickly became clear. It is an exciting environment where you never know what the day will bring. The best processes can be disrupted by the needs of the customer, and we have to be ready to respond.

Another key aspect of Holman’s success has been the focus on continuous learning and improvement. We invest in our employees by providing them with opportunities to develop new skills and grow within the organization. This has not only contributed to a more knowledgeable and versatile workforce, but it also fosters a sense of loyalty and dedication to the company. 

Our purpose as an organization is simple but incredibly important; we seek to provide a rewarding career for all and a better life for every employee and their family. We refer to this as the Holman Way. This unwavering commitment to our deeply rooted core values and truly unique family legacy continues to shape our culture and guide our business. By empowering our employees and supporting their career growth, we create a positive and dynamic work environment that ultimately translates into better customer experiences.

 “It’s no small task in an industry that's been around and has the compliance regulations that we do."

The consumer is evolving. Their expectations are changing. We have to be able to adapt to every single customer who visits a Holman location. 

That is what excites me about the future; being even more agile, not just in our mindset but also in our systems and processes. I'm looking forward to a time when it's easier for our employees to adapt in the moment, anticipate needs, and guide customers through the process. This will help us retain customers and drive a better overall experience.

Joining our retail division right before the pandemic made it clear just how many factors drive change in this space. Market forces, inventory challenges, and shifting consumer preferences all contribute. As customers' connections to technology evolve, we must adapt to meet their needs, regardless of their background or demographic.

It's a tall task to create an experience that's meaningful to every customer in the moment. However, we're not just looking for someone to buy a car and move on – we want them to become a part of the Holman community. We aim to make every customer feel like their purchase was a big deal, because it truly is. As the industry and technology evolve, we'll continue working to find the right tools, partners, and paths to deliver on our promise of continuing to drive what’s right.

Embracing emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will play a significant role in helping us better understand and anticipate the needs of our customers. Additionally, staying ahead of the curve in terms of sustainability and environmental initiatives is essential to meeting the demands of an increasingly eco-conscious consumer base. By staying committed to innovation, adaptability, and genuine care for both our employees and customers, we aim to redefine the automotive retail experience and lead the industry into a brighter future.

Catch Lee Ann Gehrs live at CXAUTO2023 in Marina Del Rey, The Ritz-Carlton, California.

June 20th - 21st 2023.

Head over to for more information and to understand why CXAUTO2023 is one of the most exclusive and sought-after events in the automotive industry. 

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